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A Word, Only a Word   By: (1837-1898)

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A Word, Only a Word by Georg Ebers is a mesmerizing piece of historical fiction that transports readers to ancient Egypt. Set against the backdrop of the reign of the Pharaoh Ikhnaton, this novel weaves a tale of love, power, and deception.

Ebers' attention to detail is evident throughout the book, painting vivid landscapes and bringing the ancient world to life. Through his meticulous research, the author successfully immerses readers in the customs, traditions, and complexities of life in ancient Egypt. From the bustling streets of Thebes to the sanctified temples along the Nile, every scene is brought to life with such vividness that readers feel like they are walking alongside the characters.

The story revolves around a cast of intriguing and well-developed characters. The protagonist, Harmachis, is a conflicted and sympathetic figure, torn between loyalty to his country and his forbidden love for a high priestess. Ebers skillfully portrays his inner struggles, making him relatable despite the vast cultural differences between modern readers and the ancient Egyptians. The complexity of Harmachis' relationships with other characters, such as his childhood friend and the enigmatic Pharaoh Ikhnaton, adds depth and richness to the narrative.

While romance plays a significant role in the plot, A Word, Only a Word is much more than a simple love story. It delves into the intricacies of power dynamics and political intrigue, offering readers a nuanced understanding of ancient Egyptian society. The author explores the clash between tradition and change, focusing particularly on the religious revolution led by Pharaoh Ikhnaton, who attempted to introduce monotheism to a polytheistic society. Ebers successfully navigates this complex historical background, incorporating it seamlessly into the overarching narrative.

One of the strengths of Ebers' writing is his ability to maintain suspense and keep readers hooked from start to finish. The story is filled with unexpected twists and turns, making it difficult to put the book down. While some may argue that the pacing occasionally drags, the vivid descriptions and attention to detail make up for any slower moments.

Overall, A Word, Only a Word is a captivating read for fans of historical fiction, particularly those interested in ancient Egypt. Georg Ebers' rich storytelling and meticulous research make this novel a rewarding journey into an ancient civilization. With its well-developed characters, intricate plot, and historical depth, this book is sure to leave a lasting impression on any reader who dares to embark on this adventure.

First Page:


By Georg Ebers

Translated from the German by Mary J. Safford


"A word, only a word!" cried a fresh, boyish voice, then two hands were loudly clapped and a gay laugh echoed through the forest. Hitherto silence had reigned under the boughs of the pines and tops of the beeches, but now a wood pigeon joined in the lad's laugh, and a jay, startled by the clapping of hands, spread its brown wings, delicately flecked with blue, and soared from one pine to another.

Spring had entered the Black Forest a few weeks before. May was just over, yet the weather was as sultry as in midsummer and clouds were gathering in denser and denser masses. The sun was still some distance above the horizon, but the valley was so narrow that the day star had disappeared, before making its majestic entry into the portals of night.

When it set in a clear sky, it only gilded the border of pine trees on the crest of the lofty western heights; to day it was invisible, and the occasional, quickly interrupted twittering of the birds seemed more in harmony with the threatening clouds and sultry atmosphere than the lad's gay laughter.

Every living creature seemed to be holding its breath in anxious suspense, but Ulrich once more laughed joyously, then bracing his bare knee against a bundle of faggots, cried:

"Give me that stick, Ruth, that I may tie it up... Continue reading book >>

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